So the trip was great-- refreshing, restful, inspiring. I flew in one day early so I could spend some time with my sister and adorable nephew. Did I mention he's adorable? Because he is. He's almost cuter than my own kids. Almost.
Donna Bryant Goertz. I had the pleasure of meeting her Saturday afternoon which was really lovely, both because of our family ties to Austin Montessori School and her book which was what really pushed me to wanting to pursue Montessori as a career.
The theme for this year's refresher was Engaging the Human Personality which as you can imagine is quite a broad theme. Janet McDonell was the speaker and she talked a lot about how to set up the prepared environment of the classroom (both the physical aspects and our actions/attitudes) to best facilitate the children's learning and development. Most of it was specific to the classroom, but several parts really spoke to me as a parent of a 3-6yr old child. I have a full legal pad of notes (many of which I tweeted via the @MariaMontessori twitter account) which I need to review and possible write a few posts about.
Saturday evening we visited two schools in the DFW area, both of which blew me away. It's a shame that it was dark and rainy when we visited as they both had what looked like gorgeous outdoor areas and I would have loved to see them in daylight. Perhaps another time...
It was wonderful to listen to the lectures and to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones, but I also enjoyed getting time to myself. I ended up getting a hotel room by myself using Zach's reward points, and I'm really glad it turned out that way. Maybe it sounds antisocial, but as an introvert who very rarely gets any time alone, let alone truly free time alone (meaning free of long to-do lists or guilt about how I should be sleeping instead) it was glorious to have even a bit of time each day all by myself in the room, or at breakfast, having no one else to answer to but myself. I missed the boys, especially when I talked to them on the phone (on Sunday night D told me on the phone that he wanted me to come home "this night" and I almost cried, kids have such a great hold of our heartstrings), but maybe because I knew they were happy and well cared for I mainly enjoyed myself and this rare opportunity.